Community comes together for first night of Kwanzaa - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Community comes together for first night of Kwanzaa

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Speller helps a child light the first candle of Kwanzaa. Speller helps a child light the first candle of Kwanzaa.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – An intimate service for the first night of Kwanzaa could grow into a citywide event by the end of the weeklong celebration.

Life Changing Ministries, located at 216 Marstellar Street in Wilmington, welcomed The Burnett-Eaton Museum Foundation to help with the seven day service.

Damiyr and Islah Speller served as the masters of ceremony, or Mfumes. The first night focuses on unity, or Umoja. Islah Speller said after the service that the handful of people attending will help spread the message of Thursday's service.

"They will go back into their communities and they will tell someone, then they will come," she said. "It is ‘each one, teach one'."

The following services will teach about more than just unity, with Kwanzaa's core principles like collective responsibility and cooperative economics.

January 1, 2013 is the final service of the season. Speller said it provides the community with the perfect time to let go of old mistakes and prepare for what's next in life.

"A new year we have another chance and opportunity to do it right," she said.

Services started at 6:30 pm and were expected to last for about an hour and a half.

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